Almost a month ago I crossed something off my bucket list. I ran a MARATHON. As soon as I finished I knew I wanted to write about my experience but I just wasn't sure how to word all the varied feelings I was having about my experience. I guess we will see if they come out making sense.
I trained HARD for this race. Let's be completely honest. I was afraid of failing. I did not know for sure I could run a marathon and so I did everything I could to make sure my body would have what it takes to finish the race.
I ate healthy. I cut out sugar. I ran. I did speed work. I ran. Then I ran some more. Experts recommend running 18-20 miles as your longest run a month before the race, I ran 22. OK so I wasn't just afraid of not finishing the race I was petrified. So to pacify my fears and conquer my goal I worked my tail off. (Quite literally)
So what happened you ask?
I finished of course!
It was so hard. So amazing! So incredible! So Exhausting!
Now, to be completely open and real about this I am not a "fast" runner. I didn't run cross country in high school, I don't run 7 minute miles unless I'm dreaming, so I knew this wasn't going to be an easy race for me. But hard work pays off!
As we started the race I felt so amazing. The Starting line on Race Day is an incredible place. So much energy in one place is electrifying! For the first 5 miles I could see hundreds of runners in front of me and hundreds behind me. Everyone was talking and laughing and encouraging each other. After about 9 miles the half marathoners split from the full marathoners and we started an 8 mile steady climb. Now I practice on hills, anybody that knows the southern Utah area, knows you can't run very far without running a hill. So I knew what to expect. But towards the 21st mile I hit "the wall".
"The Wall" is what athletes use to describe mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. It is literally a time during a race when you don't feel like you can go another step. Doubt, Fear, Pain and exhaustion all hit and it takes everything you have to just keep going. I kept going!
I finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes. A 10 minute mile average. And you know what? My body is sooooo amazing! For two weeks after the race I felt like I had conquered the world. I was so amazed by my body and the incredible feat it had accomplished. I felt self love!
Now I have been working on feeling self love more and more for all of my adult life. As a teenager I admit I was too critical of my body, I didn't really even try to have self love. But it's been a constant process in my adult life. It's something I will still continue to work on. Running a marathon was beneficial for my self love, it didn't fix my self love issues but it's helped me on my journey.
Like many of you my self love journey has been one with lots of ups and downs. I am 36 years old. I married at 21 and had my first child when I was 22. Our final and 6th child was born when I was 34. So in 13 years my body had 6 children, 3 miscarriages, gained 240 pounds and lost 235 pounds (why do those last 5 hang on so tight?) say nothing about 6 full term pregnancies with all the symptoms, discomfort, labor and deliveries. My body has been through so much! I have done my best to take care of my body, but far too often I did not appreciate it for all it was doing for me, I did not love it. The past month I have learned so much about the incredible things my body does, and more and more I am feeling an increase of self love. I'm grateful for my self love journey. I'm grateful for my body.
What incredible things has your body done?
How do you show yourself self love?